CDRO condemns the ban of PFI, NCHRO and other organisations

  • October 2, 2022


Press Release

2nd October 2022


Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) strongly condemns the ban imposed by the Union Government on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and other organisations alleged to be working in close proximity with it, such as Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala. The ban has been imposed under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. 1967. This ban comes close on the heels of country-wide raids on the offices and residences of PFI activists and the indiscriminate arrestof more than 100 persons in an arbitrary manner. For this purpose, the State has massively mobilised its repressive machinery, such as – the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate, CRPF, Tax authorities and state police forces, etc. The intention is clearly to overawe and terrorise the Muslim community which has been under attack since the present political dispensation with its communal fascist agenda came into power in the Centre as well as in various states. Despite severe repression, the Muslim community has fought a valiant battle against CAA, NRC and NPR. They have repulsed attacks on their faith, beliefs, way of living, dietary habits and social values. Above all, by winning a sizable chunk of people from other communities in support of their legitimate struggles, particularly against CAA, the Muslim community has thwarted the attempts of the BJP to createa communal divide amongst the people, Hence, the ban order is an attempt to crush their democratic right to organise and struggle.


PFI was formed in 2007 with the declared aim to restore the rights of depressed and marginalised sections of Indian society. It claims to be a socio-economic, educational and political organisation meant to uplift the downtrodden sections among the Muslims and scheduled castes. Since its formation, PFI has been publicly active in taking up the welfare issues concerning Muslims.  It has organised the Social Justice Conference in New Delhi in 2011 with a plea to the UPA government to implement the findings of the Sachar Committee and the RanganathMisra Commission. It has carried out campaigns in favour of the Muslim representational issue (reservations in education and employment) and campaigns for community welfare and social upliftment. Sadly, PFI, which has been active against the draconian UAPA, has become the latest victim of this law.


One of the organisations also banned is the NCHRO. NCHRO is an extension of CHRO, initially constituted by noted Rights activist Mukunda Menon in Trivandrum, which has, throughout its existence, been part of campaigns for the release of political prisoners. Now this organisation has expanded at the all-India level and has a plural representation of activists.


CDRO believes that the government should have engaged politically with the PFI on issues raised by it.And, if the members of the PFI are involved in any illegal activity as alleged, then legal action can be taken against the individuals for their supposed crimes.But resorting to banning is an authoritarian attempt to choke opposition voices, instil fear in the minds of people and is a major blow against democracy and human rights. Therefore,


  1. CDRO condemns the banning of socio-political organisations and demands that the ban imposed on PFI and other organisations under the same notification should be revoked immediately.


  1. CDRO once again raises its voice against draconian UAPA and demands it to be withdrawn.


III. CDRO demands repeal of the NIA Act and disbanding of National Investigation Agency as it is being grossly misused by Central Govt for political purposes and is violative of the professed federal character of Indian Constitution.


Constituent Organisations of CDRO:

Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab); Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Haryana), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association(West Bengal); Bandi Mukti Committee(West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR TamilNadu); Coordination for Human Rights (Manipur); ManabAdhikar Sangram Samiti (Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights; People’s Committee for Human Rights (Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum(Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (Delhi); People’s Union for Civil Rights (Haryana), Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur, Delhi; Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam, Kerala.


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